Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsUsc

USC season at a glance

A look at the Trojans' schedule and outlook for 2011.

August 29, 2011|By Gary Klein
  • Quarterback Matt Barkley tied a USC record with five touchdown passes at California last season, including two to Robert Woods (13).
Quarterback Matt Barkley tied a USC record with five touchdown passes at… (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles…)

SCHEDULE

Sept. 3: Minnesota, 12:30 p.m.

Trojans have not lost an opener since Florida State defeated them in 1997. Golden Gophers won't break the streak.

Sept. 10: Utah, 4:30 p.m.

Former USC assistants Norm Chow and Tim Davis would love to help Utes pull off the ultimate "Welcome to the Pacific 12 Conference" moment.

Sept. 17: Syracuse, 5 p.m.

The Coliseum, and the sidelines, won't be as full as the last time Syracuse Athletic Director Daryl Gross was here in 2004, as USC senior associate AD.

Sept. 24: at Arizona State, 7:15 p.m.

Trojans have been practicing at 7:45 a.m., but they won't be drowsy for this night game if Sun Devils linebacker Vontaze Burfict is roaming the field.

Oct. 1: Arizona …. TBA

The last time quarterback Nick Foles and the Wildcats came to the Coliseum they sent the Trojans to embarrassing defeat.

Oct. 13: at California (AT&T Park, San Francisco), 6 p.m.

Trojans return to the site of their last bowl-game victory… unless Giants are in the playoffs and game is moved to Candlestick Park or Oakland.

Oct. 22: at Notre Dame …. 4:30 p.m.

USC AD Pat Haden spent many years announcing games from Notre Dame Stadium where Fighting Irish have not defeated Trojans since 2001.

Oct. 29: Stanford, 5 p.m.

Maybe Pete Carroll and Jim Harbaugh can be honorary captains as Trojans try to end Cardinal's two-game Coliseum winning streak.

Nov. 4: at Colorado, 6 p.m.

Trojans haven't traveled to Boulder since 2002, when Carson Palmer led them to a 40-3 victory.

Nov. 12: Washington, 12:30 p.m.

Huskies Coach Steve Sarkisian is 2-0 against USC, but Trojans-killer Jake Locker has finally moved on to the NFL.

Nov. 19: at Oregon, 5 p.m.

Autzen Stadium? LaMichael James, Darron Thomas and, perhaps, former Crenshaw High standout DeAnthony Thomas? At least it's not Halloween Night.

Nov. 26: UCLA, 7 p.m.

If UCLA needs a victory to become bowl eligible, Trojans would relish denying that to the Bruins, who have not defeated USC at the Coliseum since 1997.

OUTLOOK

Running game

Last season: 189.3 yards per game (25th of 120 FBS teams)

With Marc Tyler suspended for the opener, and possibly longer, junior Curtis McNeal will get a chance while D.J. Morgan, Dillon Baxter and Amir Carlisle also will rotate in. If the line comes together, the Trojans could be formidable. If not, trouble.

Passing game

Last season: 242.2 yards per game (41st)

Matt Barkley will rely heavily on sophomore receiver Robert Woods. Freshman Marqise Lee is a playmaker, senior Brandon Carswell and fullback Rhett Ellison are reliable, and 6-foot-5 Kyle Prater is a big target.

Against the run

Last season: 140.5 yards per game (49th)

The line is experienced, but tackle Christian Tupou's knee is a question mark. If versatile Armond Armstead can play, the front seven gains depth. An improved linebacker corps must produce more game-turning plays.

Against the pass

Last season: 259.5 yards per game (109th)

Devon Kennard's return to defensive end should help the pass rush. Cornerback Nickell Robey and safety T.J. McDonald are proven, but the Trojans need stronger play from the other secondary starters. And opponents' spread offenses could have the Trojans often lining up with five defensive backs.

Special teams

Freshman kicker Andre Heidari has been consistent and strong in practices. Walk-on punter Kyle Negrete's emergence could cause freshman Kris Albarado to redshirt. Woods is an electric kickoff returner, Robey a speedy and elusive punt returner. The Trojans might spend more practice time on special teams than any team in the nation. The investment needs to pay off.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|